Mercy Corps raises £200k for Pakistan flood victims

FUNDRAISERS across the Capital have helped to break the £200,000 barrier for flood victims in Pakistan, with more than 50,000 people set to benefit from its lasting legacy.

Edinburgh charity Mercy Corps has raised 211,000 since the worst floods in Pakistan's history wreaked devastation across the country in August. The funds include 88,000 for the general emergency response to the floods, and 123,000 for the Pakistan Clean Water Appeal launched by the Edinburgh Disasters Response Committee on the charity's behalf.

The money raised for the Clean Water Appeal is being used to create 50 water supplies in Pakistan, which will benefit more than 50,000 people.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mercy Corps senior programme officer Mark Chadwick has witnessed the devastation first-hand after travelling to Pakistan in September.

Mr Chadwick, 35, said: "The whole experience was humbling but also very rewarding - there is just so much work to be done and a real sense of pulling together to meet the need.

"I had a chance to talk with families displaced by the flooding and to see the conditions in the camps in Sukkur, which are overwhelmed with people displaced by the floods."

He added: "One woman I met was Phagal and her family. They were at home on August 11 when the flood waters came. Phagal said it happened so quickly that all they could do was get out with just the clothes they were wearing.

"Then she told me how they started to walk — for three days in the baking heat — to the city of Sukkur to get some help.

"Access to clean water had been a real problem. It was good to see our taps running and in use, delivering safe, chlorinated water.

"Phagal's mother Sunari told me, 'Before we had this water, we used to have stomach aches. We'd have to go to the hospital but now no-one has to go'."

Mr Chadwick, who has been a Mercy Corps employee for seven years, has worked in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Liberia in the last two years alone.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "There will be a lot of work to do to clear the land and rebuild homes. A big part of the planned help we will give will take the form of paying people returning to their communities for work on organised projects to fix damaged infrastructure and get the local economy working again.

"There's so much still to do, and what no-one knows is when it will be possible for people to go back home and start rebuilding their lives. Meanwhile, Phagal waits and hopes."

Support for the Pakistan appeals has mainly come from individuals, trusts and local schools, including the Royal High School and Hermitage Park Primary School.

In October, 1061 pupils and all staff from the Royal High took part in a 10km sponsored walk, raising 7000.

Meanwhile, children at Hermitage Park raised 1000 through collections.

Money raised for the general emergency response in Pakistan has also been used to set up and run two mobile health units in camps for the thousands of people who have lost their homes.The units treat more than 110 people a day for ailments such as acute diarrhoea, skin diseases and respiratory infections. So far, more than 9000 people have been treated.

On top of the 211,000 raised to date, the charity has also received 85,000 from the Scottish Government to help with the flood effort.